Skip to main content

tv   Frontline  PBS  February 13, 2019 4:00am-5:01am PST

4:00 am
>> narrator: tonight-- a special investigation from "frontline" and the wall street journal. >> there were allegatis of drug misuse, stealing, sexual abuse and inappropriateha or. >> narrator: decades of dysfunction inside the federal agency that provides health care to native americans. >> the indian health service they just seem impervious to improvement and they could not get it right. >> because of the absolute needl topositions we don't really get the best of the best. >> narrator: and the case of a government pediatrician moved from reservation to reservation... >> my concerns was that this man was sexually using children. >> narrator: despite the rnings. >> there was obviously a lot of people that knew something wasdn
4:01 am
going on and they 't do anything. >> narrator: tonight-- the indian health service and the failure to stop decades of abuse. >> what kind of cover up is this? this involves a lot of people in a lot of high places. >> narrator: "predator on then" reservat. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support is provided by the john d. and caerine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdan aceful world. the ford foundation: working with visionaries on then ines of social change worldwide. additional support is provided by the abrams foundation,el committed to ence in journalism. the park foundation, dedicated toeightening public awareness of critical issues. the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. the heising-simons foundation: unlocking knowledge,nd
4:02 am
opportunity,ossibilities. and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hler. and additional support from tom stair and lucy cawell-stair. >> narrator: dr. stanley patrick weber was a pediatrician working for the indian health service.
4:03 am
>> narrator: his patients were native american children. >> narrator: allegations llowed dr. weber from reservation to reservation. ♪
4:04 am
(sirens blaring in distance) (car horns honking) >> narrator: "wall street journal" rorters christopher weaver and dan frosch have been on the trail of dr. stanley patrick weber and the government agency he worked r, the indian health rvice. rt >> weaver: sg about two years ago, we got interested in a federal agency called the indian health service. their hospitals have had an ugly track record in the last few years. they were missing diagnoses, patients were dying for no reason. and we found that the agency had failed for many years to take in hand a series of structural problems that had basically rendered these hospitals incable of meeting their regulatory requirements. troubled track records beforeith they joined the ihs or once they got there. in some cases, people who had, who had been convicted of crimes
4:05 am
prior to their serviceith the ihs. >> and the ihs hired them anyway? >> weaver: the ihs hiredywhem . >> frosch: we began looking into troubled doctors that had got in trouble during the course ofer their caat ihs. and one of those doctors was a guy by the name of stanley patrick weber. >> weaver: upon finishing the residency, he immediately joined the indian health servic he was stationed from '86 to '89 at a hospital in oklahoma, ada, oklahoma, that the ihs ran at that time. he was a pediatrician there. >> and have we tried to reach him? >> weaver: yes. >> and? >> weaver: and he hasn't responded. >> rosch: this doctor being accused of sexual assault by patients.ht and we thoug that warranted a broader look, both at dr. s weber, but also t of widespread practice of hiringor dowho, who would get into trouble. >> weaver: we thought, "we got to find out, did the ihs know? did anybody have any inkling th there might be an issue
4:06 am
with this doctor?" ♪ >> narrator: in 1992, dr. weber arrived in the little town of browning, montana, part of the blackfeet indian reservation. ♪ ti frosch: blackfeet reser is about 2,300 square miles. it butts up agait canada. this stunningly beautiful place. li a lot of indian reservations, there's high poverty rates, high rates of alcolism, diabetes, domestic abuse, et cetera. and this is really one of t most far-flung places that you could go if you were aoctor. ♪ >> narrator: the reservation's only hospital was run by thehi ihs, struggled to find doctors. mary een lafromboise was the hospital's c.e.o. at the time.d >> we en without a, a pediatrician for a while.
4:07 am
so here comes dr. weber. and all i could think of is, "he looks comfortable, huh?" he looked young. and just seemed like he was, would be a good fit for us. >> narrator: one of the first things dr. weber did was help expand the hospital's youth outreach programs. >> they were talking about, "we want to do some things in the school you know, we have some programs that would blend really wellol with middle sc i just thought, "wow, here's something that the hospital can offer the community. we'll put dr. weber out there in the community." ♪ >> narrator: almost from the start, concerns began to emerge. tim davis is the chairman of the blackfeet tribe. >> running weasel is my indian name. >> narrator: but in 1992, he worked in the hospal's facilities department. t >>hat green house, 105 is it? that's the one weber was in.
4:08 am
>> narrator: part of his job was to inspect government-owned houses, including the one where dr. weber lived alone. >> so what we did, each annual-t waough, we'd come through each house, and i'd do the inspection of the roof, the floors, the walls, the windows, the doors, and then go through the basement, check oufor any leaks. when i went downstairs was when i was kind of, like, fored, because of what i saw there as a... to me, a signal ofme ing that wasn't right. the gentleman had a lot of food items, candy, pop, cookies, and then toys, games, videos, games that boys would play with. a i mean, it wasn't jumall, it was stacks of stuff. i mean, they were stacked. i mean, i'm a dad, i got boys, i got eight boys, and, i mean, i buy my kids stuff, but it's not stacked up in the basement like, u know, and that, to me, signaled there's something wrong with this guy. >> narrator: davis says he shared his concerns with mary ellen lafromboise,ho at the
4:09 am
time didn't see it as cause for alarm.♪ ♪ ♪ >> the comments that were coming from maintenance about how there's a lot of traffic of young people in and out of dr.s. weber's, um, quart and i think somebody had askedab hit it, why there were so many young people. "oh, they, we just like to get etogether, you know, to h pizza or pop." do.know, things that kids like he seemed to be genuinely interested in our young people.i
4:10 am
he came the idea of having a, a teen clinic area, you know, by having evening clinics, being more user-friendly to them ity. ♪ >> narrator: others at the hospital were suspicious of dr. weber's intentions. psychologist dan foster and his wife, becky, mental health specialist, knew some of dr. weber's patients. they became increasingly uncomfortable with his after-hours clinic. child to a pediatrician, ayour parent is with them. or if a social worr brings a child to a pediatrician, the w sociker is with them, an ult is with them. but these boys were going in there alone. ♪ >> it was pre-pubescent, adolescent males.em most o teenagers, 12 to 15 years old. all of them vulnerable, high-risk. many of whom we already hadsu
4:11 am
icions that they'd been sexually molested or, or abused. and so that, that was a red flag. and then later, one of our colleaes came and told me he had real concerns regarding this doctor's bringing a couch into his, his office, and that he wae keeping young in there after hours, when most of the staff had gone home. ♪ >> narrator: while dr. weber was on the blackfeet reservation, no child is known to have come forward with a specific allegaon of abuse. but becky foster remembered one boy who she'd lar had concerns about-- joe four horns. he's now in prison for bank robbery, but spoke treporter dan frosch by phone. ♪
4:12 am
♪ >> nartor: joe says he never told anyone at the time what was happening during his visits with dr. weber. but on the reservation, the rumors and suspicions were growing.e >>ok the kids to great falls shopping, he took themo
4:13 am
basketball tournaments when oura kids would qfy. to us, that was getting the community used to seeing him with these kids and the implication of parental permission. >> this is grooming behavior. so you take kids who are fficult family circumstances, and who are poor. and you offer them new clothes, and you offer them food, and you offer them, you know, a home where the lights are on all the time, a child will gravitate toward that. ♪ >> narrator: dan foster says hei d to confront dr. weber. >> i had these concerns, and i wanted him to know that i wasng brinhese concerns forward. my hope was that if he were doing something, he would stop. and if he weren't, he would be warned and would modify his behavior accordingly. frosch: how did he respond to you? that he would not harmld,red me
4:14 am
he was respectful. s and then i just didn him after that. ♪ ♪
4:15 am
♪ , >> narrator: finalter years of suspicion and rumor, there was an incident that't coule ignored, involving a boy who'd been sleeping at the doctor's house. there was an incident reported to me where a family member to a kid, you know, went over there and wanted to fight him and ended up smashing him in, smashing him in the face, breaking his glasses. kind of black eye. ho i justht, "you know, he's just going to be, he's going to be a problem."d en, you know, get with
4:16 am
the other staff, and they were, like, "yeah, you know, something's going on." ♪ >> narrator: lafromboise reache out to the regiop ihs official, who summoned the hospital's acting clinical director, randy rottenbiller, to his office in billings. >> he said, "you know, i'm concerned that you have a pedophilon your staff, and,ge and you need trid of him." ♪ and so i just said, "okay, i've got to deal with this task ♪ the first thing i did when i got back to browning was, called him and asked him to meet me in my office. and i said, "well, i've been told that you need to leave." at and he said e had had some threats made against him, and he was worried about his life, and
4:17 am
he was getting ready to leave browning anyway. and i think he packed up and left the next day. ♪ i guess the better response would be, launch an investigation. and, and yet the ihs response is typically sweep it under the rug, or, you know, or pass it on to some other place. ou >> narrator: the ihs transfer dr. weber to its hospital on the pine ridgerv reion in south dakota. ♪ in weaver: the pine ridge an reservation is notoriously one of the poorest places in the uned states. the public health situation is dire; life expectancy is among the .ry lowest in the country ♪
4:18 am
♪ parent was already complaining, that dr. weber had inappropriately examined a child. the ihs took him off clinical duties as federal authorities looked into it.th didn't substantiate the complaint, and dr. weber went back to work.nt but as in a, weber's interactions with boys continuei to suspicions. kelly brewer was a nurse whoee lived across the st from him. >> the tan house straight ahead, that was dr. weber's house. and then back here was where d weber's garden used to be. like, all this area here, where
4:19 am
it's kind of mulched, that was all garden. he hired kids to work in it all the time, and they were always young native american boys, ten-ish to 12-ish in age. >> narrator: the kids coming and going would earn a nickname around the reservation. ♪ >> narrator: one of the so-called weber boys was named
4:20 am
paul. like joe four horns in montana, he is now in prison serving time for assault. (thunder rumbling) (noise buzzing on phone line >> narrator: paul says that in ,exchange for sexual favo weber would give him money or prescription drugs. like the other boys, he kept his encounters a secret, year after year.
4:21 am
♪ >> narrator: one night, he saysa he pushe. ♪
4:22 am
(woman talking on police radio)i >> narrator: tribal officer dan hudspeth was called to the scene. >> call came in, there was an assault. we chased the suspect down, located him not too far from the ihs housing. we took him into custody, sentet him on to juveniletion. >> narrator: as hudspeth too paul to juvenile detention, he asked him what was going on. >> narrator: the authorities now had a firsthd allegation of
4:23 am
ongoing sexual abuse by weber.er but on the restion, the trib authorities don't have jurisdiction over non-indians.et so all officer hudcould do was pass along paul'sed allegations toal investigators. >> we forward it on to the bureau of indian affairs, criminal investigations, but i'm not quite sure how they ran with it. k all i w is, personally, i took... i made sure my, my kids weren't seen anymore by that pediatrician. >> narrator: the bureau of indian affairs declined tomm t, and paul says no one from the federal government followed up with him he kept quiet about what had happened after that. at the ihsospital, one of weber's fellow pediatricians was developing his own concerns. >> i'd hear him riffing through my charts cherry-picking the, the cute teenage boys. ar
4:24 am
so at that point, i d having some suspicions about him.ee he didn't likeg babies, didn't like seeing toddlers, didn't like seeing girls, didn't like seeing teenage girls. so, so just professionally, i just kept butting heads with this guy. but i couldn't get anybody on the medical staff to listen to me.
4:25 am
♪ >> narrator: in november 2006, paul did something that made it harder to look the oer way. he wouldn't discuss the detas over the prison phone line, but he had one of his friends on the reservation recount what happened. henry red cloud says he, paul, and another friend were out drinking and looking for trouble and then ran out of money. >> all of a sudden, you know, paul is, like, "you know, man," he was, like, "let's just goov to (bleep) doctor's house, man, that (bleep) (inaudible), man."ca i n't remember if he was (bleep) calling him a child molester or something like that. i can't remember, but i think i heard somethke that. maybe it was just because of their little dealings. and i thought it was (bleep) up, too, 'cause he was my doctor and
4:26 am
(bleep). i knew of several people that him. to go and get money from so we went up there, we parked. as soon as he opened the door, i just kicked the do. he staggered back, and he dropped, andhen i kicked him a and threw him into the kitchen, area. and then he was fumbling arounds antarted walking towards the back into that bathroom, and dr. weber was sitting ther looking at himself in the mirror. his eyes were (bleeped) up, bloody mouth, bloody nose. d he was pretty wee for, man.te i said, "you bget that money," so he pulled out a couple hund.en and e was, like, "here, here, here, here you go, take it, taket." he said, "just don't kill ." ♪ >> narrator: dr. weber made his
4:27 am
way to the ihs hospital. bill pourier, the hospital's c.e.o., says security guards called him and said one of his doctors had been assaulted. >> so i went up there. and dr. weber was laying on a,he on a gurney inin the emergency room. he looked rather beaten up and traumatized and so forth.sk so i him, "what's going on here?" i said, "who did this to you?" he wouldn't tell me. he wouldn't say nothing. >> wear: he wouldn't say anything at all? >> he wouldn't say nothing. and it was frustrating. >> narrator: pourier says that he reported whatappened to ihs's regional headquarters, but that his bosses never pursued the matter, and he was afraid to take it any further. >> i probably would have been e suspended, mayn fired. you know, pretty much, they can do what they want with you. >> when he was beaten to the point of needing skull x-rays, and no charges were filed for beating up a commissionedal
4:28 am
officer on fedrounds to the point where he needed skullt films,ught, "what on earth is going on? what kind of coverp is this?" i mean, this involves a lot of acpeople in a lot of high . ♪ >> narrator: outraged, dr. butterbrodt would become increasingly fixated on exposing dr. weber. o >> i think a lpeople thought i was overreacting.
4:29 am
and people would say to me, "you don't have any real evidence." and that was always the indian health service line, too.oo you know, "we'ved at the data bank, there's no complaints on him. he's clean." ♪ and i learned that there was a psychologist who had word with him at browning, and was aware of his activities in browning, montana, prior to 1995, when he came here. >> narrator: it was dan and becky foster, who'd had concerns about weber's behavior on the blackfeet reservation. >> frosch: when mark is telling you guys, basically saying, that crimes have been committed how did that make you guys feel? >> well, i think it... i think we just... so you get to be just so angry and frustrat and then just kind of numb.
4:30 am
because part of what happens is that you can see all of these knowing that you've tried to do everything that you could dowi in the bounds of what's available to you, and then nothing happens. it says to me as a... indian woman, as a mother, is that your kids don't matter. >> i felt deeply hurt and very angry.be the anger wause i felt it was preventable. fa >> narrator: i, years earlier, dan foster had heard weber was working at pine ridge and contacted ihs leaders there to warn them. >> frosch: would you have said, in as explicit terms, "i'm worried this guys is a pedoile"? >> yes. oh, i was clear. my concerns was that this mans xually using children.
4:31 am
♪ >> narrator: after the encounter, dr. butterbrodt was more determined than ever that weber had to go. he complained to state medical boards and officials at the ihs. and he believed he'd finally found proof in a list of paents weber had ordered tests on. >> so i looked at these charts, and there weren't any girls. they were l boys.th on this pageere are 14 patients, and there's one female. one out of 14. uld a pediatrician zero in on a population consisting normal-weight boys and teenage boys?" it just seemed incomprehensible to me. ♪
4:32 am
>> narrator: dr. weber wasde suspwhile the allegations were investigated. >> wver: when dr. weber was suspended by the indian health service over allegations of misconduct in 2009, one of the officials who was sent to look into this was this guy ron keats. >> narrator: keats-- who was one of weber's superiors at the time-- would soon leave the ihs under a cloud himself, and later be convicted of possession of child pornography. >> weaver: so effeively, they sent a guy who would go on to be arrested a year later of trafficking in childorn to investigate suspicions that their pediatrician could be a pedoile. >> narrator: keats did not respond to requests for comment. weber was ultimately cleared and went back to work, according to bill pourier. >> the higher-ups, i guess, basically told me there was... they couldn't find one reason to keep him on suspension. there was no facts or evidence to support what happened and so forth, and that's pretty much whathey gave me, the answer they gave me. so we just... directed me to
4:33 am
put him back to work. >> weaver: at that time, did you believe that dr. weber was, you know, potentially engaged in some kind of misconduct towards children? >> i kind of felt th there could possibly be somethinge going on here, 'causi started looking everything. but i just never got nothing. i was frustrated, as well. ♪ i >> narratothe summer of 2010, at the pine ridge hospital, dr. weber and dr. care of a patient.clash over the dr. weber claimed he was threatened. >> within an hour, i'm sittingff in thee of the acting and finally, i said somethingge. really out of line. i said, "if i'd want to intimidate him, i would have cut his nuts off with a rusty knife." and that remark went right to washington. i was branded as a violent,ol out-of-conerson, and within a few weeks was traveling
4:34 am
up to belcourt, north dakota, leaving my life and my career and my family, everythg. >> narrator: the ihs sent dr.er buodt to one of its most remote outposts, 575 miles away, on the canadian border. >> the nurses came up to me and said, "now you know y we don't say anything, dr. b. look what they've done to you."o i was ordered leave. i was chased off by a pedophile and the people who chose him over me. ♪ >> arrator: months later, a new ihs chief medical officer arved in the region. >> you, know, it just seemed like the perfect storm of issues that kind of arose. >> narrar: rod cuny determined that dr. butterbrodt had been unfairly punished. >> you know, i credit mark
4:35 am
butterbrodt, because he, i mean, he laid his career on the line in doing what he nded to do. really, he did the right things, and, you know, and he's a direct result of people fearing would happen, at might happen to you. i mean, it happened to him, and that's why people didn't come forward like he did. and that's sad that that attitude has to prevail, but,le you know, pere scared to come forward. >> narrator: many of the officials who ran ihs during the years dr. weber was therebe declined tnterviewed. but reporter chris weaver tracked down bob mcsin. >> weaver: mr. mcswain? >> yes. >> weaver: hi, i'm chris weaver. >> narrator: he worked at the ihs for more than 40 years, including two stints as director. mcswain conceded the agency has long tolerated problem doctors like weber. >> it goes back to the, the vern
4:36 am
heart of, thded his t skills, and y, they moved him around to, to maintain his, his contribution. it's fair to say that because ol the, the ae need to fill positions, we don't really get the best of the best. we get someone who, um... they have a degree. (chuckles) they're licensed, and our requirement on licensing is at least licensed in one state in the system. there's a strange tolerance level, that,oh, okay, the guy's a, a womanizer, or a guy's this, and a guy's that. but he comes in to see patients," okay? and the, the antithesis is, "what would it be if he didn't o's going to see the
4:37 am
patients?" ♪ >> i'm going to call the hearing to order.he this is a hearing ofndian affairs committee. >> narrator: in 2010, the dysfunction at the ihs got attention in washington, at theenate's indian affairs committee. senator byron dorgan was chairman at the time. >> we got a couple of employees here that are trouble. t get disciplined, but theoyee employee gets a bonus. we found people who were transferred from one to thet other, despite the fat there were allegations of drug misu, stealing, sexual abuse inappropriate behavior, a whole series of things that would, in almost every other circumstance in life, require you to discharge someone, fire someone. instead, the indian health service moves them, theyan er them, they move them to the next service unit. and, "let's have somebody else live with the, the incompetence and the mistakes." this system is not working.
4:38 am
this isn't working. we tried to browbeat the ihs inv y way we knew how, to get them to straighten out. and they just seemed impervious to improvement, and they could not get it right. ♪ >> narrator: in the case of dr. weber, warnings continued to go unheeded for years. hnona stabler, then the c.e.o. of the pine ridge hospital. she says a caller but didn't provide hereber any specifics. the matter never went anywhere. stabler later received a gift o5 00 from dr. weber and would plead guilty to not reporting o a government ethics form. she didn't respond to requests for comment. then, one day in 2015, it all started to unravel.ib a tr prosecutor recalled
4:39 am
something dr. mark butterbrodt had told her years before. >> mark and i are really good friends. i've known him since i was in high school. so he was frustrated, i remember, one day, and he told me about dr. weber and how he was molesting kids. ♪ i was driving to work, and there was snow on the ground wn i was thinking about the case. and i was, like, "i wonder if the attorney general even heard about this." >> she just asked, "there's some leads that i have on this.r can i looking into this and seeing what i can find?" so i said, "absolutely. if you can find something, let's track it down, and we'll takeat nformation forward." >> narrator: as in the past, it was hard to get anyone to talk. >> weber's alleged victims are all boys. so, you know, it's even that much hder to get a, a boy or a man to speak about sexual abuse. so i thinkrust is a big thing.
4:40 am
>> we felt it was a priority to at least identify a potential victim, so that it wouldn't bee, dismissed anymo that it would be taken seriously, and a full investigation would happen. ♪ >> narrator: they began to look into the assault. weber a decade earlier.>> learned that he was beat up really bad. that he was so beaten that he had to get mris done. what i think people ould've noticed was that he didn't press any charges on anybody. >> and those whole circumstances just looked, um, odd. there was something not right about that. >> and i did go looking for that police report, 'cause if he was beat up so bad, you know, the ambulances should have came, police officers should've came, but... i couldn't find anything. >> narrator: after months of searching, she found a woman who said she knew the boys who'd done it.
4:41 am
>> but she didn't give me much detail. she just said, "yeah, they came to me that night after they beaw up der." she gave me the name of one of them and i was, like, "all right, fine, i have this one name to go on." we found out he was in prison, state prison. >> narrator: it was paul. by then in his late 20s. >> and after we received thatov information, we ed that, that potentialictim's name to the bureau of indian affairs. ♪ n rator: federal investigators followed the trail the tribal authorities had
4:42 am
uncovered. it started with paul's name and led to dr. weber's door.
4:43 am
>> narrator:he years of accusations had finally caught up with dr. wer. ♪ federal prosecutors would charge him with the abuse of four boys on pine ridge and two on the blackfeet reservation in montana. ♪ 8, in september 2ore than two decades after he was forced offh blackfeet reservation, dr.
4:44 am
weber arrived at the courthouse in great falls, montana, tod trial. foe first witness was joe horns. now 35 years old. wa >> frosch: is joe, and he is this muscle-bound guy, tattoos on his face, shackled, very tough-looking guy. the prosecutor, in her opening statement, she puts up a picture of joe four horns when he was 1 about ten years old, right around the time that he would have been abused by dr. weber. she wants the jury to remember this little boy. >> narrator: recording was not allowed in the court; this is the trial testimony voiced by actors. >> can i call you joe? >> yeah. >> frosch: joe answers their questions. it's clear he does not want to be on the stand. >> did he ever kiss you?h.
4:45 am
>> y >> where did he kiss you? l >> ts, my face, my neck, and my chest. >> did he touch any other part of your body with his hand? >> yeah, my penis. >> frosch: dr. eber is sittingthere, emotionle. >> did you ever touch his penis? >> frosch: placid... >> yeah, yes. >> why did you do that? >> because he told me to.e >> frosch:oks more like the little boy on the screen than he does the hardened felon that is sitting there. the's talking about the m humiliating thing that he could ever imagine talking about. he breaks down crying. ♪ >> narrator: dr. weber's attorney questioned why joe had never spoken up before. >> frosch: joe reacts in a way that undercuts the defense's entire sort of line of
4:46 am
estioning. >> right now, i don't want to talk about this. t i don't ever want k about that. >> frosch: and explained in really sort of honest,ra gut-wrenching, visterms, why he had never told anybody about this. >> i got molested as a littlet kid, man, i dont to talk about that. all right, i'll te you the truth: those pieces of (bleep), those child molesters, they deserve to be in prison.ve they don't deso be on the street. they deserve to get (bleep) (bleep) up and (bleep) killed in prison. and that's what's going to frosch: so during his testimony, and as he began sort of discussing in detail what had happened to him, his mom had to leave the courtroom in tears. >> narrator: marion four horns had lost custody of her son during those years. >> i never knew about any of this. and i feel bad for my boy, because i wasn't able to protect him.
4:47 am
i feel, i really feel... (sobbing) i really hurt for him, i don't know what to do. (sniffling) >> narrator: the extent of the allegations against dr. weber would ben to emerge as the trial unfolded, with more men describi what they said he'd done to them as boys. >> frosch: the prosecutiongs breveral corroborating witnesses from pine ridge.as anas the case with joe, you see these tough guys sort of reduced to little boys. ♪ >> narrator: despite the testimony against him, dr. weber continued to shrug offhe allegations. t >> it's a nice doday. nice sunny day.
4:48 am
>> narrator: on the third day of the trial, the jury came backil with its verdict: gu on multiple counts of sexual abuse. ♪ weber is appealing, and later this year, he's scheduled to go on trial in south dakota for alleged abuses there. ♪ >> i'm very glad that he was ught. i still am frustrated that he was allowed to work for so long in that environment. i think i'm still frustrated that more people haven't been charged criminally. >> there was obviously a lot of people that knew something was going on. and they didn't do anything. (sniffles) they just... let him go. (sniffles) i feel like somebody should pay for, for what all these boys went through, because people
4:49 am
knew. ♪ ♪ >> narrator: to date, no one el in the ihs has been hel accountable. and many of the officials who oversaw dr. weber did not respond to requests for comment. but followinquestions from "frontline" and "the wall street journal," the agency ordered an independent investigation of weber's tenure. to talk about it and a togreed doithe interview at the hospal on pine ridge where ber had worked. >> hello. >> narrator: rear admiralwe michael kee has been leading the agency since 2017. >> since this case has came toli ght, we've been doing a lot of checking internally, to, to see what people may or may not have known. ifhere are individuals who were aware that something was going on, then you're
4:50 am
basically culpable and complicit in those actions. i'm in the process now of developing a new policy that will require that everindian health service employee be a mandatory reporter. >> weaver: of what? >> of any potential child abuse, any sexual assaults, any, anything potentially criminal in nature. >> weaver: and what would be a satisfying resolution to the crisis around the case of dr. weber? >> that he do his time. h and thpay for what he did. uh... he did a lot of damage to our agency. we've talked a lot about the difficulties we have recruiting providers. this isn't going to help. >> weaver: where do you set the bar for yourself, in ter of leading the agency out of this crisis? >> i think the bar is extremely high. there are so many people depending upon us.am my owny receives their health care through the indian health service, so i go homeer
4:51 am
day and... (sniffles) the expectation is to fix this. (quietly): sorry. ♪ >> narrator: in january 2019, dr. weber-- now 70 years old-- wasentenced to more than 1 years in prison.ng but haunuestions remain. >> you know, it doesn't sit well that somebody like this monster came in and did what he did. you know, and i didn't do much to prevent it. (exhales)ce ainly could have done
4:52 am
more. >> well, at that time, you think of your career and your job d your livelihood, so i probably would have got fired. i guess that was the risk i would've took. i couldn't afford to take the risk at that time, to lose my job. do i feel responsible for it?-- o. >> i guess i have to blame the bureaucracy of indian health service. i but i have to sawas on my watch that happened. i tould have known better, i didn't. that, that's still hard for me to... nd of deal with. ♪ >> narrator: after nearly 30 years, no one knows how many victims of weber's abuse areou stilthere, or how many other people in the indian
4:53 am
health service could have done more to stop him. ♪ g to pbs.org/frontline and wsj.com for the latest reporting on the story. and learn more from the reporters about investigating the indian health seice. >> we found a bunch of doctors with troubled track records before they joined the ihs or once they got there. >> then, visit our watch page where you can view more than 200 "frontline" documentaries. connect to the "frontline" community on facebook and twitter, and sign up for our newsletter at pbs.org/frontline. >> narrator: it was a landmark ruling--sa thous of new yorkers with severe mental illness had a right to live on their own. >> there was a huge question about whether people that hadtu been insonalized can live successfully in the community. >> narrator: and a right to fail. >> they just brought me there and said, "ta daaa!" >> narrator: "frontline" and propublica investigate.
4:54 am
>> didt feel like you were left alone? >> i had no company actually. >> the question is when do you take away somebody's liberty? >> frontline is made possible by contributions to yr pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.on and by the corporaor public broadcasting. major support is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just,erdant and peaceful world. the ford foundation: working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. additional support is provided by the abrams foundation, committed to excellence in journalism. dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues.le the john and helenner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. the heising-simons foundation: uncking knowledge, opportunity, and possibilities. and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and
4:55 am
jo ann hagler. and additional support from tom stair and lucy caldwell-stair. captioned by a media access growgbh access.wgbh.org >> for more on this and otherne "frontprograms, visit our website at pbs.org/frontline. ♪ on to order "ine's" "predator on the reservation" on dvd visit shop pbs, or call 1-800-play-pbs. this program is also available on amazon prime video. ♪
4:56 am
♪ you're watching pbs. ♪ ♪ -you've said you'd favor middle-classax cuts. -the front line is just up here. that's where the river... -she took me out to those wetlands. -i think we' off to a great start. ♪
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
nar on this episode of "earth focus," how can we manage, protect, and nourish our natural resources while meeting the growing global demand fo food? a model of local control along the coast of madagaar provide a blueprint for ocean sustainability and community buding, while in san diego scalability is the goa researchers work to build the first open-ocean fish farm in the united states. [film advance clicking]

3 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on